Big teams, big decisions! West Ham boss can’t believe Klopp has got away with it again
PUBLISHED: 14:30 05 February 2019
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Inspired display by the Hammers earns draw against leaders Liverpool
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is often spouting off about the Hammers becoming one of the big clubs.
Perhaps when they do, they will get the big team decisions like the ones that Premier League leaders Liverpool got at the London Stadium on Monday night.
Their goal was a joke. James Milner was yards offside when he collected the ball right in front of the linesman.
He crossed for Sadio Mane to turn and finish in clinical fashion and put the leaders in front.
Unsurprisingly, Pellegrini was not happy with that decision and another one late on.
“If you create four clear chances and you don’t score and they have two clear options, one that they score a metre-and-a-half offside and the other with Origi in the last minute in front of the linesman, again offside, of course you must be disappointed and worried,” said the Hammers manager.
There is a history of this between Pellegrini and Jurgen Klopp, which he reminded him of at the final whistle.
“Klopp is used to winning with offside goals,” said the mischievous Pellegrini.
“He beat me with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League with Malaga with a goal seven metres offside, so he cannot complain about anything.”
They were stark words from a clearly frustrated manager, but he must have been pleased with the way his side bounced back from three dismal away defeats.
He brought in Ryan Fredericks at right-back and it proved a great success, while Michail Antonio added attacking impetus in the absence of the injured Marko Arnautovic.
Mark Noble and Declan Rice held their own in the middle of the park, while Felipe Anderson with his dribbling skills and fine free-kicks was always a problem for lacklustre Liverpool.
“I think that we played in the way we like this team to play against every team,” added Pellegrini.
“Maybe nobody believed that we can do it, but I was absolutely sure and I had trust in the players that we could play in the way we did.”
He was right. After watching the dismal displays against Bournemouth, AFC Wimbledon and Wolves, few would have given the Hammers a hope, especially when they slipped behind on 22 minutes.
But West Ham kept attacking and after two efforts from Javier Hernandez and a drilled shot inches wide from the excellent Aaron Cresswell, they got their rewards from a training ground free kick move as Anderson slipped a pass to Antonio on the right side of the box and, as Alisson stood motionless, the West Ham striker buried the ball into the far corner.
“I am very happy with the performance,” said Pellegrini. “A complete performance against a team that has the best defence and we created so many chances.
“We attacked well and in defending they had two or three shots from the edge of the box which Fabianski saved, but easy saves, nothing important.”
In the opening match of the season, Liverpool dominated the reverse fixture, winning 4-0 and setting West Ham back for weeks.
This was a very different story. The Hammers have now beaten Manchester United and Arsenal at the London Stadium as well as this draw against the leaders.
There is so much promise in this team, but if they want to become a big team and get the decisions that go with it, then they must find consistency both home and away.